What is a SU?

Going to university can be daunting, but the Students’ Union can be a big help. Most universities will have a Students’ Union – but what exactly are they?

What does the SU do?

A Students Union (SU) is a group that is run by and represents the students of a university. Many SUs will be affiliated with the National Union of Students (NUS). The SU acts as the voice for its members and offers lots of different services, events and facilities to enhance students’ time at university.

At BCU, our Students’ Union is BCUSU. Their aim is to ensure that you not only have a fantastic time at university, but that you will also leave with the confidence, skills and experience that will land you your dream job!

BCUSU gives students the chance to have their say on any aspect of university life, providing them with a platform to be heard and implement change.

Who runs the SU?

Students’ Unions are largely run by elected volunteers, with support from staff. The SU will hold elections to vote for current or former students to lead the SU in different roles.

BCUSU has a Union President and four Vice Presidents (VPs), each responsible for a different area:

  •        Academic Experience
  •        Equality & Inclusion
  •        Opportunities & Community
  •        Student Voice

The SU also has two School Reps per school and at least one Student Academic Leader for each year group on every course. These representatives will meet regularly to report any feedback, queries and concerns to the SU.

What are societies?

At university, societies are clubs that give you the chance to try something new and meet like-minded people.

BCU has over 100 clubs and societies for you to choose from, ranging from academic groups to niche interests, there’s something for everyone. Even better, if you can’t find a society that interests you, you can set up your own! Here are some examples of our societies:

  •        LGBTQ+ Society
  •        Cheerleading
  •        Multi-Faith Society
  •        Afro-Caribbean Society (ACS)
  •        Film Society

Does the SU hold events?

Absolutely! SUs hold many events throughout the year, including social events such as quizzes, silent discos and film nights. There are also events that help with other aspects of university, such as support with academic writing, research and referencing.

Many universities will have SU bars and restaurants right on campus! BCUSU has the Eagle & Ball Pub on our City Centre Campus and The Social Kitchen at City South. These are perfect for grabbing lunch between lectures or socialising with friends, especially as there are often great student deals on offer!

Speaking of deals, BCUSU also runs several Campus Shops offering a one-stop shop for meal deals, confectionery, stationery and more. These shops also sell official BCU merchandise such as hoodies and jackets.

Our Parkside building also hosts an Art Materials shop. This allows students on ADM courses to get their essentials onsite for affordable prices as the shop is not-for-profit, just for students!

Where can I find the SU?

Many universities will have their SU based on campus.

At BCU, your first point of contact for the Students’ Union is The Point – an advice desk offering information, advice and guidance and support to students. You can speak to their friendly staff in person or via Microsoft Teams Monday – Friday between 10am and 1pm.


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